Coyle joined by Queralt on first team, while McKeon, Pastor-Pitarque and Sciulli earns second team honors

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Aisling Coyle, a midfielder on the fifth-ranked Ohio State field hockey team, was voted the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, while forward Paula Pastor-Pitarque was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches, the league announced Thursday evening at the 2010 Big Ten Tournament banquet in Evanston, Ill.

With the honor, Coyle and Pastor-Pitarque become the sixth and seventh Ohio State student-athletes to receive a major conference distinction, all under 15-year head coach Anne Wilkinson. Coyle is the first Buckeye in program history to win the top defensive honor, while Pastor-Pitarque is the third Buckeye to win the top rookie award. Ohio State has won at least one major conference award for the last five seasons.

In addition, Coyle was a unanimous First Team All-Big Ten honoree along with sophomore Berta Queralt. Senior midfielder Aisling McKeon, junior back Jenn Sciulli and Pastor-Pitarque were named to the second-team. Senior back Bri Doak was Ohio State’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.

The two Big Ten Player of the Year awards ties the program record set in 2006. The five All-Big Ten selections ties the program high accomplished first in 2001 and again in 2005.

With 48 points on 21 goals and six assists, Coyle has led the Buckeyes in scoring all season while holding second overall in the Big Ten. The junior, who has started all 18 games, is sixth in the nation in goals per game (1.17) and seventh in points per game (2.67). The native of Glasgow, Scotland, also is second in the league in gamewinners with five. Coyle has had a point in 16 games this year and her 48 points are eighth on the program’s all-time single season list.

A solid defender as well, Coyle has been a mainstay in the Buckeye backfield that has limited opponents to an average of 1.17 goals, 7.4 shots and 3.7 penalty corners per game and six shutouts. She has earned First-Team honors in back-to-back seasons with the Scarlet and Gray after earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 as a redshirt freshman.

Pastor-Pitarque, a native of Barcelona, Spain, is the second-consecutive Buckeye to win the league’s rookie of the year laurel after Queralt earned the award last season. A key member in the Ohio State midfield, Pastor-Pitarque has tallied 19 points this season on six goals and seven assists. She earned the rookie of the week honor twice this season (Oct. 4 and Oct. 25) and has 15 points during Ohio State’s nine-game win streak.

Queralt, a 2009 All-American, leads the conference in assists with a 23, helping the Buckeyes rank third in the nation in assists per game (3.56). The native of Barcelona, Spain, broke the Ohio State single-season assist record previously set by Mieke van Ulden in 1996 and is tied for third in Ohio State’s career assist category with 35. In the last nine-games, Queralt has totaled 31 points with nine goals and 13 assists. She has earned first-team honors in back-to-back seasons after consecutive seasons with over 40 points.

McKeon, a native of Galway, Ireland, earns the first season conference award of her career after recording career-highs in assists (19) and points (27) in her final season. A key component in the Buckeye penalty corner unit, McKeon is tied for second on the single-season assists list while starting all 18 games this season.

Sciulli, from Palmyra, Pa., leads the Big Ten this year with six defensive saves and received her first career league honor. The team’s 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, Sciulli picked up three Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors this season while anchoring the Buckeye backfield. Sciulli’s 12 defensive saves in her career is tied for fifth on the Ohio State’s all-time list.

The top-Seeded Buckeyes will face No. 4-seed Michigan State in the semifinals of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament at noon Friday in Evanston, Ill. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

2010 All-Big Ten Teams

First Team
Brenna Moeljadi, Jr., defense, IND
Paige Laytos, Sr., midfield, MICH
Meredith Way, Sr., defense, MICH
Jantine Steinmetz, Sr., forward, MSU
Sabine van den Assem, Sr., midfield, MSU
Chelsea Armstrong, So., forward, NU
AISLING COYLE, Jr., defense, OSU
Berta Queralt, So., forward, OSU
Kelsey Amy, So., forward, PSU
Ayla Halus, So., goalkeeper, PSU
Jessica Longstreth, Jr., midfield, PSU

Second Team*
Corey Brautigam, Jr., midfield, IND
Jessica Barnett, So., defense, IOWA
Sarah Drake, So., forward, IOWA
Rachael Mack, Fr., forward, MICH
Alicia Mayer, Sr., forward, MICH
Molly Cassidy, Fr., goalkeeper, MSU
Kirsten Henn, So., forward, MSU
Sarah Marcincin, Sr., midfield, NU
Aisling McKeon, Sr., midfield, OSU
Paula Pastor-Pitarque, Fr., midfield, OSU
Jenn Sciulli, Jr., defense, OSU
Brittany Gryzwacz, Fr., midfield, PSU

Offensive Player of the Year: Chelsea Armstrong, NU
Defensive Player of the Year: Aisling Coyle, OSU
Freshman of the Year: Paula Pastor-Pitarque, OSU
Coach of the Year:
Marcia Pankratz, MICH

Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Jaclyn Milici, IND
Becca Spengler, IOWA
Eileen Brandes, MICH
Meghan Magee, MSU
Katie Lynch, NU
Bri Doak, OSU
Jenny Purvis, PSU

Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
*Additional honorees due to ties